I am from Germany. In Germany, we like beer. Generally we drink it pure, without any extra special ingredients, even on extra special holidays like Easter. Icelanders are different. For every holiday, local brewers present lines of specially brewed beers, which often contain weird things (like cloves or seaweed). As Easter approached, whopping seven types of Easter beers (“Páskabjór”) appeared on the shelves of the Vínbúðin state liquor outlets. For the sake of journalism, I enlisted eight of my friends to test those seven beers. Our investigations are documented below—hopefully they can assist you in determining which specific Easter beer brand you should order when you go out tonight.
Note: We took this all very seriously. Going by our varied adventures in beer drinking, the nine of us drank and evaluated the páskabjór bearing the following criteria in mind:
- Value for money
- Connection to Easter
Finally, we rated the beers’ overall impression on a scale from one to seven. Our mission: to determine which páskabjór is actually drinkable, and which should be firmly ignored. Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up:
Páska Gull, from Egill Skallagrímsson brewery
Average rating: 2.28 (out of 7)
Páska Gull came in last place with us. You don’t expect much when you read that a beer—even a Heffeweizen—is infused with bananas and cloves. But when you taste this weird mix it becomes clear that any expectations, however low they might have been, still weren’t low enough. This is a drink that would only appeal to someone who harbours an unhealthy obsession with banana jelly candies (i.e. no one). The overall opinion was this: Páska Gull smells disgusting and tastes rotten.
Páska Bock, from Víking Brewery
Average rating: 2.5 out of 7
Bock. It’s not for everyone. This became obvious as our group tasted Víking’s take, the Páska Bock. The sweet malty taste didn’t impress. When it comes to value for money, we estimated that you could actually “get drunk before puking, but this seems to be much work”. The design is boringly described as “normal”.
Páskabjór, from Gæðingur
Average rating: 2.71 out of 7)
This contender was generally described as a bitter drink, with a fruity smell. Value for money was found to be very low, with some claiming they would rather “stay sober” than drinking a lot of it. However, the packaging and design convinced almost all of the testers, even though the “cute horse” on the label has obviously nothing to do with Easter.
Þari Páskabjór, from Steðji
Average rating: 2.75 out of 7)
The brewery Steðji decided to infuse its Easter beer with cocoa and seaweed into its Þari Páskabjór (fun fact: “þari” means “seaweed”). The people at Steðji must know how these things relate to Easter, at least we hope so.
Generally, our group found Þari to be a sweet, weird beer that tasted a little bit “fishy”. Some liked it, some hated it. Although a majority of us was in favour of the design (baby chicks and landscapes), one could not resist noting that it looked like a “cheap book about love.”
Páskabjór, from Víking
Average rating: 2.96 out of 7
Things finally started looking up when it came to Víking’s Páskabjór. Emitting a scent that the group described as “fruity, nice and fresh,” the beer is infused with chocolate, coffee and caramel according to the label. The hint of chocolate-caramel flavour was impressive, while the taste of “cold coffee and bad beer” didn’t convince everyone. Besides that, the Páskabjór odd violet and yellow cans made some of the group’s eyes hurt.
Påskebryg “Kylle Kylle,” from Tuborg
Average rating: 4.02 out of 7
Tuborg’s Påskebryg ”Kylle Kylle” made the second place that night. Although its taste is perhaps best described as “normal” and “boring,” it left the aforementioned drinks in the dust. Maybe it was the packaging that sold us; the cans have a convincing Easter design that make it seem like its marketed to children, with a baby chick in focus.
Páska Kaldi, from Bruggsmiðjan
Average rating: 4.54 out of 7
Aaaaaaand the winner is: Bruggsmiðjan’s Páska Kaldi! Páska Kaldi reels you in with a taste that’s “sweet but not too sweet,” and a “good, impressive design.” Furthermore “you can easily get drunk” off Páska Kaldi, elevating its value for money rating to “high.”
After drinking all those beers (and having quite the time of it), we conclude that the best beers remain those without any extra special flavour enhancements. If you’re planning on celebrating Jesus’ resurrection by getting hammered tonight, Páska Kaldi is our number one recommendation!